Symphony of the Dead: Bob Weir to Collaborate with the Marin Symphony Orchestra

It was announced last year that Bob Weir would be collaborating with the Marin Symphony Orchestra to perform the music of The Grateful Dead, but the concert was postponed due to lagging advance ticket sales.

Now, the “First Fusion” concert is rescheduled to take place on May 7 at the Marin Center in San Rafael, California.

While orchestras have interpreted The Grateful Dead’s music and worked with rock bands such as Metallica, Deep Purple and The Who, Weir said this will be a unique experience.

“This is completely different,” said Weir. “This is definitely going to go to some new realms.”

Performing with Weir and the symphony musicians will be Ratdog veterans Jeff Chimenti, Robin Sylvester and Jay Lane, as well as Scaring the Children bassist Rob Wasserman.

Conducting the MSO will be Stanford University’s Dr. Giancarlo Aquilanti, with whom Weir worked with to orchestrate the music.

“[It] became a great challenge for both artists, because classically trained musicians rarely improvise, while Dead members are renowned for improvisational genius,” MSO Executive Director Noralee Monestere told Spinner.

The Grateful Dead often sounded like an orchestra of their own, especially with songs like “Dark Star” or the epic “Terrapin Station,” so this one-night-only event is something to look forward to.

While plans to record and release the performance have yet to be confirmed, there is a good chance that it will be, professionally or by audience tapers. As one Deadhead said about the odds of the event being recorded, “Does a bear still shit in the woods?”

-Chris Lazaga


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About clazaga5

I am a music writer. I graduated from FIU's School of Journalism and Mass Communications in April, 2011. I've always had a passion for music. Since high school, I've been involved in a few bands and written a good number of original songs. I loved going to shows and seeing live music. So when the notion struck me to combine the two, it seemed only logical that I write about live music when and wherever I find it. This blog is what came of that notion.
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